Group photo with Archdiocesan Youth Commission (AYC) members and SHC parish priest, Fr Paul Lo.

By Aline Lim

June 21 2022

RESPONDING to the Holy Father’s call for a synodal church, the Kota Kinabalu Archdiocesan Youth Commission (AYC) has been making pastoral visits to the parishes in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu.

 While the fluctuations in COVID-19 cases have caused delays and halts for this to happen, the visit to our Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) parish finally took place on Jun 4.

Three members from the AYC – Sr Terry Loukang, Sr Dora Obod and Caroline Juanis were welcomed by 19 parish youth leaders alongside SHC parish priest, Fr Paul Lo.

Fr Paul Lo

The event kicked off with Bible enthronement, followed by proclamation of the Gospel and a reflection given by Fr Paul himself.

In his address to the youth leaders, he acknowledged that youth activities were on halt for two years due to the pandemic, but with its transition into the endemic phase, physical activities are slowly resuming.

Fr Paul also emphasized on the importance of youth being on mission. He said, “Mission is based on what we are called to do by the Lord and by the prompting of the Holy Spirit; it is not based on our feelings.”

He ended his reflection for the youth leaders by encouraging them all to always “do what Jesus tells you”, and to always spend time in prayer and listening to the Word of God.

A video of the history of the Archdiocese Youth Commission was shown to the youth leaders. This opened up for an opportunity for each leader to share on what they felt after watching the video, as well as on the joys and sorrows of serving in the youth ministry.

Many shared that watching the video gave them a sense of thankfulness as they realised that youth ministry in Kota Kinabalu diocese was conceived because they, as young people at one time, had responded to the move of the Holy Spirit and the call of God.

Listening and sharing

The morning was spent on listening and sharing with each other. The youth leaders gave their heartfelt sharing of their joys which included seeing the lives of young people change as they served, and the pure joy of being called to bring Christ into the lives of the youth.

On the other hand, sorrow was felt when the youth who were ministered to still chose to reject God in the end. Overall, most shared that there were more joys than sorrows as they served.

We had the opportunity to listen to Sr Dora, Sr Terry and Fr Paul as they shared their personal experiences on how they began in the youth ministries. It was inspiring to hear how God used them as young people, and how today they continue to serve Him in a much bigger scale in their respective vocations of priest and religious life.

We ended with a prayer led by Fr Paul and a blessing given by him, followed by lunch together at the parish hall. It was a half-day well spent. Through this visit, we see that the Holy Spirit continues to move, inspire and raise up leaders for the building of Christ’s Kingdom here on earth. All we need to do is to respond, and He will do great things.